Iyonne approached tribal authorities and arranged to have a north-south plot on the west side of the Cheyenne River Elderly Nutrition Center, where she served as executive director. When the center ran short of room for its potato crop, she returned to tribal government and obtained an east-west section.
“My mom always strived for native food sovereignty and security, as well as for sustainable agriculture,” Julie Garreau explains. “She always stressed the importance of fresh produce in a daily diet; the significance of traditional foods for the Lakota people; and the powerful relationships that a naturally grown garden can foster between generations as well as between our people and the earth.”
When the garden became too much for the nutrition center to manage, CRYP staff and volunteers took on the responsibility for planting, maintaining and harvesting the garden. Its fresh, nutritious produce from the garden is incorporated into daily snacks and meals at The Main, Cokata Wiconi and Keya Cafe; processed and sold under the CRYP label in the Keya Gift Shop; and made available to the community through the seasonal, weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market.